LOS ANGELES -- The independent-film hit "Beasts of the Southern Wild" will be ineligible for the Screen Actors Guild Awards because it was not made under provisions of the union's contracts, guild officials said Monday.

The producers have until Oct. 25 to bring the film into guild compliance to become eligible for the awards, though that likely would mean paying the actors more money.

A spokesman for Fox Searchlight, which released the film domestically, said the company would not try to bring "Beasts" in line with SAG contract rules to qualify for the awards.

Director Benh Zeitlin cast locals in his film set in rural Louisiana, including his two stars, first-time actors Quvenzhane Wallis as a 6-year-old wild child, and Dwight Henry as her father.

"We appreciate and honor the spirit in which the film was produced and the way it was made," Fox Searchlight Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley said in a statement. "It's truly an original."

"Beasts" is a critical darling, winning top honors at the Sundance Film Festival, so sitting out the Jan. 27 SAG Awards will not necessarily hurt its Academy Awards prospects.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Fox Searchlight Pictures Co-Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula with actor Dwight Henry, actress Quvenzhane Wallis, Director Benh Zeitlin and Co-writer Lucy Alibar attend Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere After Party

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Actress Quvenzhane Wallis and actor Dwight Henry attend Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' After Party on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere After Party

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Actress Quvenzhane Wallis and actor Dwight Henry attend Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' After Party on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Producer Dan Janvey, actor Dwight Henry, Producers Michael Gottwald and Josh Penn attends Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Actress Quvenzhane Wallis and actor Dwight Henry attends Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L) Young actress Quvenzhane Wallis and actor Dwight Henry pose on the red carpet for the press at Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Actress Quvenzhane Wallis, actor Dwight Henry and Director Benh Zeitlin speak to the audience moments before the premiere of Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Actress Quvenzhane Wallis and actor Dwight Henry attends Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: Actor Dwight Henry Fox attends Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - New Orleans Premiere

    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 25: (L-R) Producer Dan Janvey, actor Dwight Henry, Producers Michael Gottwald and Josh Penn attends Fox Searchlight Pictures Presents 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' on June 25, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images for Fox Searchlight Pictures)

  • Film Independent's 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Premiere Of "Beast Of Southern Wild" - Arrivals

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 15: Actor Dwight Henry attends the Film Independent's 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Premiere Of 'Beast of the Southern Wild' at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 on June 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

  • US actor Dwight Henry poses during the p

    US actor Dwight Henry poses during the photocall of 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' presented in the Un Certain Regard selection at the 65th Cannes film festival on May 19, 2012 in Cannes. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/GettyImages)